March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at Guns.com.
After previously chatting with Abbey Clary and Leah Roberts on the marketing and e-commerce teams, I made my way over to the content side of Guns.com to talk shop with Kristin Alberts. Alberts has worked for Guns.com for over seven years as a reviewer. If you’ve read a hunting article from Guns.com, it likely came from her.
Alberts took some time to chat with me about the intricacies of reviewing, misconceptions about hunting and why Chuck Norris should be everyone’s zombie battle buddy.
Guns.com: Being an outdoor writer is not an everyday, traditional job, so to speak, so tell me how you came to be the resident hunting writer at Guns.com?
Alberts: I always wanted to be an outdoor writer and to do something that I loved that wasn’t an office job. I went to college for four years, got my degree in English, with a bunch of minors that were not all that relevant.
Went it work at several different jobs — all in cubicles and offices and hated it. I decided I wanted to be out in the field doing something different, so I got my EMT and paramedic license and spent some time as a director of an ambulance service.
I always wanted to write and I wrote poetry in my spare time. When I saw an ad for Guns.com, looking for people to write gun reviews, I thought this is absolutely what I want to do.
Guns.com: And here you are. So break down what an average day looks like for you while you’re working on a piece for Guns.com?
Alberts: Obviously, hunting is my passion so I am thinking about things as hunting season comes along. I’m looking at the calendar, planning different hunts, seeing which companies I’d like to work with, mapping out content and taking notes.
I live in the Midwest so weather is a factor, cold weather especially. I plan my range days so I can get out there and do some accuracy testing and check different loads. I just kind of work with whatever happens to be in season. So it’s writing, it’s videography, it’s doing what I love.
Guns.com: That’s the best part, getting to do what you love. As a writer, I know that I hear all kinds of misconceptions about reviewers in the industry, namely that we get free stuff all the time. So what are some of the common misconceptions you face as a writer in the industry and also, I’m sure, as a hunter?
Alberts: I think the one big one that you’ve hit on already is that we get free things in return for writing good reviews. I think that is a big misconception because that’s not what happens. If I’m reading reviews from writers that I respect, I want their honest opinion on what they think about that gun. People are spending their hard-earned money on guns and gear that we are recommending or giving them information on and I take that seriously.
I think misconceptions as a hunter, in general, is that we’re just out there for a sport or trophy killing. We have great respect for the animals. We put so much money and time into conservation and also the end of wanting to harvest our own wild organic meat. I love to cook. I love to do field to table.
Guns.com: Well while we’re on the topic of hunting, what sparked your interest?
Alberts: I’ve been a hunter for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, you had to be 12-years-old before you could get your hunting license. I grew up on a farm and I remember standing at the farmhouse when I was probably 8-years-old, waiting for the hunters to come back from the fields so I could see if they had gotten something. I’d hear their stories and take part in cleaning the animals. As soon as I was old enough, I would tag along. I’d go sit out in the blinds and walk with my grandpa and my dad.
Guns.com: That’s really sweet and something I think resonates with a lot of hunters. For many, at least that I know, the love for hunting started at a young age, heading out to the woods with pop or grandpa and spending time together. That’s something really unique about hunting.
Alberts: Absolutely! I hope that the family hunting tradition continues and that for other people who didn’t grow up in a hunting family, those of us who do hunt make them feel welcome and help them.
Guns.com: Well that kind of hits on my next question. There are plenty of men and women who are interested in hunting but just don’t know where to start. I’m kind of in that pool myself, having never really hunted much as an adult. I have no idea where to start and it seems intimidating. So where do people like me begin?
Alberts: There are a lot of resources out there. There are all kinds of hunting skills camps and hunter’s safety is probably the number one place to start. Learn the basics of safety and then from there, go to a skills camp. Check classes out online. I know Wisconsin just started a Learn to Hunt Program geared towards people who aren’t hunters but want to learn to harvest their own meat. They teach you how to do that, where to do it, how to take care of the game. More states are doing that as well.
My biggest advice would be don’t be afraid to approach hunters. Ask questions. Hunters are very willing to share their passion.
Guns.com: Solid advice. Let’s do some rapid-fire questions. First gun you remember shooting?
Alberts: The first gun I remember shooting was a single shot .410 I got from my grandpa. We took it out on a squirrel hunt and I still have it.
Guns.com: What is your favorite gun that you currently own?
Alberts: That’s a really hard question. Can I choose a couple?
Guns.com: I know. I know. It’s a tough one. Sure, give me your top two.
Alberts: The one that means the most to be is an old Belgian Browning A5 Sweet Sixteen I got from my grandpa. He bought it as a younger man and passed it on to me. We hunted with it together. If I sold every other gun, that would be the one gun I’d keep because of the sentimental value.
Hunting wise, I really like the new Savage High Country Rifle. As far as new rifles go, it shoots well. I love it. I took it to Africa, different places and it seems like once a gun goes on adventures with you, it becomes part of your story. Then you don’t want to part with it.
Guns.com: Pink guns — yes or no?
Alberts: Negative, that’s a definite no. I mean, if that’s what floats your boat go for it, but I think you and I believe the same thing that putting pink on everything is a no.
Guns.com: Agreed. Not a fan of pink it and shrink it. Final question. Zombie apocalypse breaks out. You have to choose three people. Who are you surviving with?
Alberts: Chuck Norris would be my first. He can pretty much do anything. I’m kind of into preparedness so I probably would take a couple of local people whose skill sets I know and trust. They are confident with firearms and hunting and also all kinds of mechanical skills.
Guns.com: That’s a good squad, but honestly with Chuck Norris at the helm you probably don’t need anyone else.
Kristin and I had a hilarious time trying to meet Chuck Norris at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Member’s Meeting. If you missed out the first time, definitely catch up on our adventure.